Knicks will be without Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler Sunday against Clippers

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UPDATE 2:27 p.m. ET: It’s been made official now, a little more than an hour before tip-off, that both Anthony and Chandler are out for Sunday’s contest against the Clippers. Even though Chandler is out, the news on him might be considered to be positive — he’s missing the game due to a stiff neck; the team says his knee is fine.

8:00 a.m. ET: In a non-update injury update sent out by Knicks PR on Saturday, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler were both listed as questionable for New York’s game on Sunday against the Clippers in Los Angeles.

The vibe around the team after practice on Saturday, however, is that neither will be ready to go.

From ESPN New York:

The New York Knicks are planning to take the floor without Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler on Sunday, according to multiple reports.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson told reporters after Saturday’s practice in Los Angeles that he’s planning as if neither player will be available for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“Yes, we went through shootaround thinking that (Chandler and Anthony will not play),” Woodson said. “We got these (other players) in uniform ready to play.”

Anthony recently had the fluid drained from his ailing knee, and practiced only lightly on Saturday. Chandler sat out practice altogether, as he’s dealing with a knee contusion that kept him out of the Knicks’ loss to the Blazers on Thursday.

The Knicks started a lineup featuring Kurt Thomas, Kenyon martin, and Chris Copeland in Portland on Thursday with Anthony and Chandler sidelined, so it’s likely we’ll see more of the same on Sunday.

New York currently sits in third place in the East, a half game behind Indiana and a full game ahead of Brooklyn. The injuries are going to make it difficult for the Knicks to maintain their place in the standings, but unless Anthony and Chandler are close to 100 percent by the time the postseason begins, they’re going to be facing a quick first round exit regardless of whom they face.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.